Technology, IT Performance

CIO should hand off tech part of the job..urges a CIO!

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This is one of the more extreme views I've read suggesting CIOs should jettison the technology part of their job. And it cites U.S. Tennis Association CIO Larry Bonfante, who says CIOs trying to stay on top of tech are fighting a losing battle.

Rather, the CIO should be a communicator, change agent, relationship manager and a business solutions advocate. But is that a CIO or something else? A title is a title is a title.

The thing that wasn't said here is that the CIO is headed for extinction. CIO baling from a role in technology? Bad advice in my opinion...never come down off your mountain.

Still, the article is worth reading....

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Steven Romero 1 Point | Tue, 03/13/2012 - 20:12

Though I completely agree with the notion of CIO's being closely aligned and connected to the business, I don't believe they need to "jettison the technology part of their job." I agree that most CIOs spend FAR too much time dealing with the day-to-day machinations of IT. But the reason they spend so much time on "technology stuff" is the widespread neglect of sound IT governance, sound processes support by sound process management, and attention to culture and organizational behavior. I have argued, for years now, that CIOs who adequately address IT governance, IT/Business processes, and enterprise-values-driven-behaviors, provide the foundation, structure, and mechanisms needed to assure the optimal delivery of the bread-and-butter IT services. Each of those disciplines fosters the appropriate participation and collaboration of both IT and the business in all information technology decisions. So in addition to addressing the day-to-day machinations of IT, sound governance, process and appropriate organizational behavior obliterate the divide between IT and the business. I feel so strongly about this that I wrote a book about it.

Joel Dobbs 339 Points | Mon, 03/12/2012 - 19:54

Hello John,

In reading the linked article what I see is really a call for stronger and more strategic leadership by CIOs as opposed to the more "traditional" focus on technology and operations, both of which will remain important.  Coincidently, I had the opportunity to read a summary of Gartner's CIO Leadership Forum poll results (see link here ) this afternoon.  Look at the major areas of focus identified by this sample of ~250 European CIOs:

  • Focusing on growth initiatives;
  • Collaboration and workflow;
  • Mobility;
  • Business intelligence; and,
  • Eliminating things that drive cost and complexity.

Being effective at these will require real strategic leadership, organizational credibility and personal effectiveness on the part of the CIO and his/ker key staff.  However, as discussed in an earlier post, none of this will be possible unless the IT organization has its operational and services house in order. CIOs can't hide from their responsibility to run an efficient and effective technology organization.